The affect of an accident on the trade in value of a car depends on the damage. Depending on your state, certain types of damage need to be reported and will remain in a database attached to your vehicle's VIN. Generally, it is damage that's tough to properly repair, like frame damage or perhaps flood damage. Again, the specifics vary from state to state. If your vehicle has had reportable damage, it will lower the trade in value. If other damage is obvious and hasn't been repaired, the dealer will reduce the trade in value, too. Beyond that, accidents should not affect trade in value.